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A shrieker was a variant of the violet fungus known for the strange and loud noises it emitted to attract prey.[3]

Description[]

Shriekers were human-sized mushrooms. They were similar in appearance to violet fungi, but they lacked the ability to move and did not have tentacles with which to poison prey. They could produce a loud, piercing, screaming sound that tended to attract curious creature (or adventurers) to the area.[3]

They were immune to the poison of violet fungi.[3]

Behavior[]

Shriekers could sense nearby motion or light and would respond with their namesake shriek. Each such screaming sound lasted between five and fifteen seconds. A patch of shriekers relied on violet fungi to kill prey with their poison, since a shrieker could not attack or move on its own. Like violet fungi, shriekers gained their nourishment from the breakdown of organic matter that had fallen nearby.[3]

Ecology[]

Habitat[]

Two shrieker mushrooms.

Shriekers thrived in dark underground environments.[3] Besides being found in large numbers in the Underdark, shriekers also grew on the illithid homeworld.[6] The Flooded Forest was a dark enough environment for shriekers to grow there as well.[7]

Sub-Species[]

Hedgehog shrieker
Endemic to the caverns beneath the Storm Horns mountain range, these shriekers were distinct from the standard variety in three ways. First, their stalks were covered in fur similar to that of a hedgehog, which tasted like sugar. Instead of reacting to motion or light, they only elicited their namesake shriek in the presence of medusae. It was thought that hedgehog shriekers had evolved a natural defense against them as a result of the medusae's fondness for all varieties of fungi. Finally, hedgehog shriekers thrived equally as well in sunlight as they did darkness.[8]

Uses[]

In the Underdark, shriekers were sometimes placed intentionally to act as intruder alarms. House DeVir planted a shrieker among every fifth mushroom surrounding its compound to ward off potential attackers.[9]

Shriekers were poisonous to most creatures as food; however, the stomachs of hook horrors had adapted to digest them without issue.[10] They were also known to be eaten by purple worms, shambling mounds,[11] and medusae.[8]

Some considered their spores to be a vital ingredient in brewing a potion of plant control.[11] In Cormyr, mushroom huntersoften glazed fairy caps with the fur of hedgehog shriekers, making the mushrooms fetch twice their normal price.[8]

History[]

Around the 14th century DR, some time prior to 1367 DR, the Waymoot town of Minroe discovered the sub-species known as hedgehog shriekers.[12] They domesticated the fungi by feeding them a paste of beetle larvae and decayed choke creeper vines.[8] They became a staple in the town's gardens, acting as an alarm system against medusae. And the town's mushroom hunters often carried them into the region's medusae-infested caves. Over time this caused a decline in the nearby medusae population.[8][12]

Appendix[]

Appearances[]

Adventures
Dungeon #20: "The Ship Of Night"Dungeon #30: "... And a Dozen Eggs"Dungeon #52: "Welcome to the Krypthome"Dungeon #94: "Spiral of Manzessine"Dungeon #206, "Eyes on the Ball"
Novels
Homeland
Video Games
MenzoberranzanIcewind Dale
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards
Board Games
Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Teos Abadia (April 2012). “The Ecology of the Vegepygmy”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #201 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 112–113. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 87. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. Stephen Inniss (October 1989). “The Dragon's Bestiary: All life crawls where mind flayers rule”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #150 (TSR, Inc.), p. 12.
  7. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 297. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Settled Lands”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  9. R.A. Salvatore (September 1990). Homeland. (TSR, Inc.), p. 12. ISBN 0-1401-4372-6.
  10. Michael Persinger (March 1988). “The Ecology of the Hook Horror”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #131 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 42–46.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 121. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.